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Celebrate the Opening of Roosevelt!

University Greenways members talked to 43 business owners about safety on Roosevelt Way

Andres, Atom and other local Greenways leaders prepare to do small business outreach along Roosevelt in 2013. Side note, two other Greenways leaders pictured here are now fathers — Orion and Alma’s dads also want safer, healthier streets for their new babies.

November 2 2016

Atom, the little tyke in the photo, was not quite two years old in 2013 when his dad, Andres, got together with a group of other safe streets advocates from NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways to run a campaign to turn the Roosevelt Way NE repaving project into the Roosevelt Way NE repaving and Protected Bike Lane project.

The group pictured here, plus a few others, went out and talked to small businesses about the business benefits of having slower traffic, safer places for people to bike and walk, and great public spaces in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Thanks to their focused local campaign, and the local business support it generated, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) decided late in 2014 to turn Roosevelt into one of Seattle’s premiere Complete Streets.

Fast forward three years. Atom is five and the Roosevelt Way NE Protected Bike Lane will officially open, this Saturday, November 5 2016.  Kidical Mass riders will wield the scissors at a grand ribbon-cutting event with SDOT around noon at the University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE.

Meet Andres, Max, Scott, Bob, Orion, Forrest, Drew, Alma, Madi, Rjider, Brandt, Barbara, Hank, and many more of the people who made this project possible for this generation and for future generations.

  • If you want to join the Kidical Mass Ride, come to at Mighty-O Donuts 2110 N 55th at 10:30 AM
  • Otherwise, join the fun ribbon-cutting at University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE at noon!

 

 

 

Roosevelt BRT Road Diet Analysis

by Andres Salomon, NE Seattle Greenways
November 26, 2015

NOTE: Seattle DOT Is gathering public input for the Roosevelt to Downtown High Capacity Corridor (Bus Rapid Transit BRT) Project. Be sure to let them know that you want safety improvements for people walking and biking to be the primary focus for this project. Put your Public comment here, or attend a public meeting.

Public SDOT meetings

Wednesday, December 9
6 – 8 PM
TOPS School, Cafeteria
2500 Franklin Avenue E
Seattle, WA
Thursday, December 10
6 – 8 PM
UW Tower, Cafeteria North
4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Seattle WA

Same content at both SDOT meetings. A brief presentation starts at 6:15.

 

Within 1/2 mile of the #RooseveltBRT corridor, 30% of surveyed households don’t own a car. Compare this to 8% non-car ownership for the rest of Seattle.

 

Car-free household density map

Where are all of those zero-car households? Here’s a density map. Darker areas have > 10 car-free households per acre.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ryan’s Roosevelt Story

Gordon Padelford
April 23, 2015

Click here to send a message to make Roosevelt Way NE Safer

What I thought was: “Ugh – this is going to be unpleasant.”

It was. I just sat in the roadway for a few minutes, stunned, bleeding all over myself.

I live in Seattle’s University District because I go to school at the University of Washington – I’m in the final year of a Ph.D. program in environmental policy. I’ve always believed in making the world a better place. Bicycling is a part of that, and it’s almost always how I get around. On this particular night I was on my way to see the premiere of a play in Capitol Hill’s Annex Theatre.

Instead I found myself bleeding in an intersection. Read the rest of this entry »

Roosevelt Way Petition

This is a petition

City Plans To Make Roosevelt Way NE Safer For All

 January 13, 2015

Congratulations to Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly, Seattle City Council Transportation Committee members Tom Rasmussen (Chair), Jean Godden, and Mike O’Brien for their bold leadership and vision that will soon make Roosevelt Way NE safer for everyone.

You can thank them all on this letter! 

How does this project make Roosevelt Way NE safer? Read the rest of this entry »

Pushing for Completed Streets on Roosevelt NE

SDOT crew restripes Roosevelt crosswalk

SDOT crew restripes Roosevelt crosswalk

November 19, 2014

Every year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) takes on the necessary task of keeping our busy streets in good repair by repaving and restriping them. In 2013, for example, SDOT completed a technically excellent job of repaving and updating two miles of N/NW 85th St. from Greenwood to I-5 through a dense residential and commercial corridor at a cost of about $12 million. N/NW 85th St. now moves car and bus traffic more efficiently and we’ve protected the roadway of a heavily used corridor by doing needed maintenance.

The newly formed Licton Springs/Haller Lake Greenways group, that recently received a prestigious National Parks Service Rivers Trails & Conservation Assistance Award, takes issue with how tax dollars were spent on N/NW 85th, which remains a fast-moving, vehicle-centric corridor that is difficult for people walking and biking to navigate.

With a large new school opening soon [Wilson Pacific] and North Seattle College, what we need is to create safer crossings, including at least one additional signaled crossing (with turning movements restricted) in conjunction with a new greenway that extends from the schools, across 85th and to the south.

SDOT didn’t do just a paving overlay, in most places they removed the old paving down to the base course and in many places took it down much further and put in a new base course, sometimes clear to subgrade. They did utility drainage, sewer & water system work, put in new curbs, replaced asphalt with new concrete panels in many high-weight bus areas and the road was closed in sections for many months.  Incidentally, the project was not just an SDOT project, and significant costs also appear in Seattle Public Utilities & City Light budgets in addition to the SDOT budget.

There’s absolutely no excuse for such major work not to be planned and constructed with ALL the public needs evaluated and to plan  for as many of those needs as possible, including for the needs of people walking and biking.  To do otherwise is horribly short-sighted and will result in SDOT chasing its tail ad infinitum. It’s a lot less expensive to do the work at one time rather than building it then coming back to tear it up to rebuild it.” Lee Bruch, Licton Springs/Haller Lake Greenways leader

Which brings us back to the Roosevelt Way NE Arterial Repaving Project slated for 2015. Thanks to the focused advocacy work and petition from University Greenways, what would have been simply another generic repaving project now includes safety improvements for people who walk and bike.

The great news is that a new temporary protected bike lane will be installed in December or January “to make the area safer and more predictable for all road users” between NE 45th and NE 40th streets.

The bad news is that these safety improvements are not funded to continue past NE 45th. While Roosevelt is currently a highly used street for walking and biking (even with bike lanes in the door zone), walking and biking and crossing the street will grow exponentially in this corridor with the current boom in residential construction and the Light Rail Stations opening on 45th and 65th in 2021.

Rather than retrofitting Roosevelt Way NE for this additional walking and biking traffic, let’s use this repaving project to complete the street now.

Petition to Scott Kubly for a Safe Roosevelt Way NE

Petition Update: The city has agreed to make significant changes to the Roosevelt repaving plan.

Say thank you to the city for making bold safety changes on Roosevelt! https://www.change.org/p/mayor-ed-murray-thank-you-for-making-roosevelt-way-ne-safer-for-everyone

Bicycle Implementation Plan Update: Good Project List, Incomplete Funding

The mayor’s latest bicycle plan adds critical projects, but leaves them unfunded. Join us at the Ride4SafeSteets this Sunday, and send a letter to elected officials to call for completing the network.

Act Now! button

At the end of April, the Mayor released a draft 2019-2024 Bicycle Implementation Plan outlining projects to be built through the end of the Move Seattle Levy. The plan drastically cut the connected network that the original Levy promised to voters, and the community responded.

In hundreds of emails sent to city officials, letters from advisory and oversight boards, and at outreach events conducted across the city, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) heard two resounding calls —

  1. We want safe routes from SE Seattle to the rest of the city, and
  2. We want the network to be connected — no more building infrastructure with missing gaps where people riding bikes are thrown out into dangerous intersections or stretches of roadway. If we’re spending money to build safe routes, they need to connect to each other.

Now, the City has released the final version of the Bicycle Implementation Plan. Our summary: Good project list, incomplete funding. Join us at the Ride4SafeSteets this Sunday, and send a letter to elected officials to call for action.

A group of smiling kids riding bicycles down the street.

The Good

Because you spoke up, the City added a list of important projects that will be built if more funding becomes available, including North-South routes which would connect SE Seattle to downtown on Beacon Ave S and MLK Jr Way S, and a safe connection from SODO to Georgetown, which would provide safe access to thousands of blue collar jobs.

Additionally, the plan fully funds a route on a short section of MLK Way connecting from Mt. Baker station to the I-90 trail, and retains important projects providing safe places to bike on Eastlake Ave E, Green Lake Way, Delridge Way SW, Pike/Pine (and other parts of the Basic Bike Network), Thomas St, and the Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link.

These are big wins — thank you for speaking up.

A joyful crowd of people in rain ponchos ride on a protected bike lane.

The Bad

Unfortunately, because the plan does not commit to fund and build the critical connections through South and South East Seattle and SODO. Also, apparently partly because of a lack of funds, the long planned and delayed downtown 4th Ave route has been downgraded from a two-way protected bike lane to a one-way (northbound).

We must make it clear to our elected leaders that these routes are not optional.

 

A group of people with helmets and bikes hold signs calling for safety and Vision Zero.

Next Steps

In her cover letter, Mayor Durkan states that “we are committed to delivering the bike safety projects included in this plan,” and “we will continue seeking additional revenue sources and grants to advance these key connections.”

We all need to work together to secure funding for these projects, to create the connected, comfortable network of safe routes for people to bike throughout Seattle that we all support. There are numerous options for generating additional funding for safe streets projects including a rideshare tax, commercial parking tax, or impact fees, all of which need careful consideration to ensure they can be implemented equitably. It will be up to our elected leaders to find a way to fund these projects, but it is up to all of us to let them know that we care.

Here’s three things you can do, right now:

  • Join us at the Ride4SafeSteets this Sunday to call on our elected leaders to fund and build these critical routes.
  • Send a letter to the Mayor, City Council, and SDOT thanking them for including the projects and pushing for funding them.
  • Ride your bike, and bring a friend! More people out enjoying the sunny weather on bikes means more safety and visibility for everyone.

A woman with dark hair rides a lime bike down a tree-lined street.

Thank you for your advocacy!

A headshot of Clara CantorClara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

 

Hear from Seattle City Council Candidates on Transportation, Housing, and Sustainability

A row of people on bicycles in a protected lane share the street with a King County Metrobus.There are currently 58 candidates for Seattle City Council.

Are you overwhelmed, and looking for a candidate in your district that aligns with your values? Look no further!

 

SNG, the MASS Coalition, and allies are hosting candidate forums in five of the seven Seattle City Council districts this month. We’ll hear from candidates as they answer questions about the biggest issues facing our city: transportation, housing, reducing carbon emissions, and equity. All forums are wheelchair-accessible and CART services will be provided:

  • District 6 Candidate Forum moderated by Heidi Groover
    Tuesday, May 21, 5:30-7:30pm
    Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N
    (District 6 includes Crown Hill, Greenwood, Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Greenlake, Tangletown, and parts of Fremont)
  • District 3 Candidate Forum moderated by Heidi Groover and Dr. Larry Hubbell
    Thursday, May 23, 6:00-7:30pm
    Washington State Labor Council, 321 16th Ave S
    (District 3 includes Capitol Hill, Central Area, First Hill, Little Saigon, and parts of South Lake Union, Mount Baker, Montlake and Yesler Terrace)
  • District 2 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Tuesday, May 28, 7:00-8:30pm
    New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave S
    (District 2 includes Chinatown/International District, Little Saigon, SoDo, Beacon Hill, Georgetown, Mount Baker, Columbia City, New Holly, Othello, Seward Park, and Rainier Beach)
  • District 7 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Wednesday, May 29, 6:00-8:00pm
    SEIU 775 Auditorium, 215 Columbia St.
    (District 7 includes Pioneer Square, Downtown, Belltown, Denny Triangle, Uptown/Lower Queen Anne, Queen Anne, Interbay, Magnolia, and parts of First Hill and South Lake Union)
  • District 4 Candidate Forum moderated by Erica Barnett
    Thursday, May 30, 5:30-7:30pm
    Cascade Bicycle Club, 7787 62nd Ave NE
    (District 4 encompasses Eastlake, University District, Wallingford, Ravenna Bryant, Roosevelt, and parts of Fremont, Maple Leaf, and Wedgwood)

If you miss the forum or if you live in District 1 (West Seattle and South Park) or District 5 (North Seattle), keep a lookout for candidate questionnaires! You’ll be able to read what candidates in your district have to say about these important issues.

Mayor’s 5-year Bike Plan Slashes Promises — Act Now

Have you seen the draft 2019-2024 Bicycle Implementation Plan? The document proposed by Mayor Durkan lays out which projects will be built through the end of the Move Seattle Levy. While the plan includes some important projects, it drastically slashes the connected network that was promised to voters. In short, the next five years will not bring us considerably closer to connecting every neighborhood to each other with comfortable and convenient bike routes.

We need your help to tell SDOT and Seattle city leadership that this plan isn’t good enough. Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle city leadership here.

Act Now! button

How we got here

First, it is important to place this implementation plan in a wider context. It comes on the heels of the “Move Seattle Reset” — a hard look at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)’s ability to deliver projects given current funding levels. This reset pares down expectations from what was promised to voters to what can actually be delivered given current funding levels. But the implementation plan takes this trajectory too far and is downright pessimistic about funding assumptions.

For example, it predicts that after 2021 our city will never win another grant to complete what we promised voters. It’s also important to put this in the wider context: our society has plenty of existing funding to build out a safe bike network that connects every neighborhood, but politicians decide to spend it on projects like the $3,374,000,000 Highway-99 tunnel.

We could also stop the bad habit of making the bike budget pick up the tab for completely rebuilding streets and stretch our Bike Master Plan dollars further. Or we could aggressively pursue progressive funding options locally, regionally, and at the state level. Or some combination of all these strategies. Instead, what we are getting is extreme fiscal austerity at the expense of our city’s vision for a healthy, safe, affordable, equitable, and sustainable future. We can and must demand better from our leaders.

A joyful crowd of people in rain ponchos ride on a protected bike lane.

Important Inclusions

Zooming in on the specific projects listed in this Bicycle Implementation Plan, there are laudable inclusions and glaring omissions.

The plan includes much-needed safe places to bike on Eastlake Ave E, Green Lake Way, Delridge Way SW, E Marginal Way, the Georgetown to South Park Trail, Pike/Pine (and other parts of the Basic Bike Network), SW Avalon Way, and the Burke Gilman Trail Missing Link. The mayor deserves credit for including these critical projects in her plan and we hope she will work to swiftly build them before the end of her term.

Official sign reading "Bike Lane Ends". Someone has added googly eyes and a frowning face.

Three Glaring Omissions

1) A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The most glaring omission is the lack of a single comfortable and convenient north-south route for Southeast Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A route down the spine of Beacon Hill may be the easiest option to implement. Building a continuous route from Yesler Terrace to South Beacon Hill on 12th, 15th, and Beacon Ave would connect SE Seattle communities to each other and economic opportunities like never before.

 

2) Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. The second biggest missing piece is a route that serves the thousands of blue collar jobs in SODO. The SODO Trail should be extended all the way to Georgetown or a viable alternative should be found that provides a connection to all the jobs along the way to protect the workers like Celso Diaz, who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver  in 2017 while he was cycling home from work. On the other side of the Duwamish River, closing the Duwamish Trail gap would connect workers to jobs and fulfill a desire of the Duwamish Tribe to better connect their longhouse to the rest of Seattle.

 

3) Safe Routes to Transit. The third area that needs improvement is access to high capacity transit. Biking can be a great way to get around for many of our daily necessities since 51% of our trips are to destinations less than five miles away. For the other 49% of our daily needs, transit is a great option — if people can get to it. We need to build projects that will help people access transit hubs:

  • A protected bike lane from Mt Baker to the I-90 Trail on MLK, connecting people in the Rainier Valley directly to the East Link Light Rail station at Judkins Park, and people in the Central District to the Mount Baker Station.
  • A route paralleling California Ave SW, connecting people in the Admiral neighborhood of West Seattle to the C Line stations in the Alaska Junction neighborhood and to the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project (a project which is well overdue).
  • Improved bike routes to Northgate light rail station (opening 2021) and the N 130th Station (potentially opening 2024) to provide better access, especially for north Bitter Lake and Little Brook — the two most racially diverse neighborhoods in North Seattle.  

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways staff bike on a Pike St protected bike lane.

What You Can Do

These routes are a start to building a bike network that connects every neighborhood. We encourage everyone to continue pushing our elected leaders until every Seattleite has the opportunity to bike for their daily needs. And we invite you to join us in speaking up for the additional projects above at one of the upcoming public engagement meetings:

 

SHOW UP IN PERSON: SDOT Café-style Conversations

6:00 pm Doors open / 6:15 pm Short presentation / 6:30 pm Conversations

 

COMMENT ONLINE: Can’t make it in person? Send a comment to SDOT and Seattle City leadership using this form.

 

Here’s a cheat sheet for in-person and online comments:

  • A convenient, safe connection for SE Seattle. The viable options are, in order of preference, Rainier Ave S, Martin Luther King Jr Way S, and/or Beacon Ave S. A spine along Beacon Hill connecting from Yesler to Way to Kenyon St on 12th Ave S, 15th Ave S, and Beacon Ave S may be the most viable option.
  • Safe Routes to SODO Jobs. Connect the SODO Trail to Georgetown and jobs along the way, and close the Duwamish Trail gap to connect to the Duwamish Longhouse.
  • Safe Routes to Transit. For Sound Transit stations opening in 2021 and 2024, this plan will make or break their accessibility and usability. Connect the Little Brook and north Bitter Lake neighborhoods to the new light rail stations, Admiral to the C-Line via 42nd Ave SW & Fauntleroy, and the Central District to the Mount Baker station via MLK.

 

Thank you for all that you do!

Be well,

Clara

 

claraClara Cantor

she/her/hers
(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

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